“Companies that embrace diversity and inclusion in all aspects of their business statistically outperform their peers”says Josh Bersin, leading provider of research-based membership programs in human resources (HR), talent and learning. And indeed, for over 15 years now, organizations globally are pledging to achieve workplace equality, while Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) initiatives are rising like a rocket and not falling like a stick! Surprisingly, shipping industry is far behind other sectors; here the D&I is kind of a new topic, but it shows an increasing trend to occupy operators’ minds.
D&I is defined as a company’s mission, practices and strategy with the scope to achieve a competitive business advantage.
If diversity can be considered as the mix, then inclusion and equity are the mainsprings to make the mix work.
- Diversity is the presence of difference within a given setting. Workplace diversity is understanding, accepting, and valuing differences between people of different races, ethnicities, genders, ages, religions, disabilities, sexual orientations, different education, personalities, skill sets, experiences etc.
- Inclusion is an approach including strategies to support leaders manage a diverse workforce and embeds a social integration mindset into the organizational culture.
- Equity comes to ensure that everyone access the same opportunities, always recognizing that advantages and barriers exist, and subsequently we all don’t all start from the same place.
4 clues that D&I in shipping is weak
- Seagoing workforce is male-dominated:
- women make up just 2% of the global shipping workforce
- less than 1% occupy leadership roles.
- Huge gender pay gap exists
- There is lack of maritime HR specialists
- There is still perception of and bias against anyone who is different
Why D&I matters
According to Forbes Insights of more than 300 senior executives – 32% who were in HR or talent management – found their companies’ diversity and inclusion priorities include:
- recruitment of diverse employees (65%)
- retention of diverse talent (44%)
- ensuring diversity in the workplace (35%)
- developing a robust pipeline of diverse talent (29%)
- managing cross-generational issues (28%)
D&I has a variety of advantages to offer in shipping industry, some of them are:
- D&I is a pattern that businesses hoping for a long future
- D&I can result a competitive business advantage
- D&I offers fair treatment and organizational flexibility
- D&I can help hire the best people fit in the wide variety of career opportunities, both at sea and on land
- D&I offers new opportunities for women, ethnic minorities etc.
- D&I makes business sense
- D&I enhances innovation
- D&I enhances personnel satisfaction and overall organizational performance
Interestingly, cruise lines are being more active in terms of D&I and suggests they are expected to be forerunners in diversity and inclusion.
Also, Did you know?
- Women are 50% of the world’s population
- In the last 10 years, the global gender gap has closed by only 4%
- Rwanda is the first country in the world to have a parliament where women are in the majority
- Japan has closed its gender gap by 6,2% and is set to increase the share of women in leadership positions to at least 30% by 2020
- Since 2014 over 80% of companies in Mexico have implemented work-life balance programs
- More than 60%of Mexican companies are introducing flexible working hours
- Google has extended its family leave policy from 3 to 5 months, as well as actively encouraging female employees to seek promotions